batting

Using Batting Scraps

February 11, 2024

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As a quilter, there’s no denying the joy of completing a beautiful quilt. Handi Quilter helps you finish more quilts. However, with every finished project comes the inevitable stash of leftover batting scraps. Instead of letting these remnants gather dust in a corner, let’s explore some creative and sustainable ways to repurpose them.

Usually they are long narrow pieces trimmed from the sides of the quilt. Long enough to use for another quilt, but not nearly wide enough. We can piece them together into a usable size for your next quilt.  There are a couple of ways to do this that are easy and effective.

Prep your scraps

No matter which way you choose to join the batting scraps, you’ll need nice edges that will butt up to each other seamlessly.

The best way I have found to do this is to place 2 pieces with the same side up on a cutting board.

Overlap them by 1/2 inch or so.

Place your rotary cutting ruler so that the edge is in the center of that overlap.

Cut.

You will trim off the uneven edge of each of the pieces and the cut edges will meet perfectly.

Join the pieces

     Hand stitch

With needle and thread, run a whip stitch to join the two pieces. Use a matching thread. Don’t pull your stitches too tight. You want the seam to lay perfectly flat.

This is my preferred method for high loft batting like wool or high loft poly.

 

 

     Machine stitch

This is what I like for cotton batting and cotton/poly blend batting. Set your machine for a wide, long, zig-zag stitch.

 

Choose a foot that easily lets you see the center. Note the red arrow on this foot. I use the mark to align the butt together edges, so that the machine zigs and zags evenly over the join.

 

To manage long pieces I slightly overlap the edges and pin.

Take the pins out as you go and butt the edges together to sew.

Of course you will use a matching thread. I used black so you could see the stitches.

 

This method results in a very secure and very flat result.  It is un-noticable inside the quilt.

 

     Fuse

The idea behind this method is that you will fuse the butted edges together using a fusible, soft pliable fabric tape. There are some tape products marketed just for this purpose. A more economical way is to use French fuse interfacing, or a tricot fusible interfacing. You would just need to cut your own strips but the cost savings is significant and worth the effort.

Lay your batting pieces butted together on your ironing surface.

Cover the join with the fusible tape. Press according to the product’s instructions.

Don’t press hard, you’ll ruin the loft of your batting. Press as lightly as you can while still getting a good fuse.

 

 

 

What NOT to do

1. If you choose to fuse. Do not add stitching. It will leave a lump that you can feel.

2. Do not overlap the batting pieces to join. It will leave a lump that you can feel.

3. Do not use a narrow or tight zig-zag.  It will leave a lump that you can feel.

4. Do not throw your batting scraps away! At the very least use them for dusting or cut them to fit your Swiffer. Dust, lint and threads cling to batting quite nicely so batting makes a great quicker picker upper. Or you can use them in your practice pieces as you learn new designs or techniques. For practice, there is no need to join the pieces together. Simply lay them on your backing fabric sort of next to each other and cover with your top fabric. Who cares if there are some gaps? It’s for Practice!

 

So, the next time you finish a quilt, remember that the journey doesn’t end – it transforms into new opportunities for expression, substrates for practice, and/or a nice clean studio and home.

Quilt Every Day!

 

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

 

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February 11th, 2024

As a quilter, there’s no denying the joy of completing a beautiful quilt. Handi Quilter helps you finish more quilts. However, with every finished project comes the inevitable stash of […]

3 responses to “Using Batting Scraps”

  1. Leftover batting scraps can also be donated to local animal shelters for pet beds. Or you can make the pet beds yourself and donate or use them for your pets.

  2. I got a great tip from Patricia Sliney about using those batting scraps to take up the slack on my quilt back. I like flannel backing and the seam gets pretty bulky as it rolls up, leaving a lot of slack on the sides. Adding strips of batting while rolling really helped this. Thank you Patricia Sliney!

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